As oil marketers issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government threatening to embark on a strike and shut down of all depots across the country if their outstanding debts totaling N800 billion in subsidies, are not paid, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called on the marketers and Federal Government to iron out their differences in order to avoid fuel scarcity during the yuletide.
MURIC gave this advice in a statement signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, of which copy was sent to The DEFENDER on Wednesday.
According to the statement, Professor Ishaq Akintola said, “Yuletide is a sensitive period. This is the time most Nigerians choose to travel to their cities and villages in order to cement family ties. It is not the right time to allow fuel scarcity.
“We appeal to FG to do everything within its power to ensure that oil marketers do not carry out their threat. Unlike in the past, this administration has been able to ensure smooth supply of fuel. There have been no queues in petrol stations across the country. We appreciate this feat. But we are saying it should not be allowed to happen. Fuel scarcity causes lots of inconvenience for ordinary Nigerians”.
The DEFENDER three months ago had opened the ground over possible attempt to cause artificial fuel scarcity at yuletide with a report of some Nigerians asking the Muhammadu Buhari Administration to tighten up its strategy against the desperation opposition capable of conspiring with oil marketers to do so in achieving political goal.
Adding its voice to the exclusive report by this online newspaper, MURIC warned about the likelihood of an attempt to cause artificial fuel in the period.
Acting on those reports, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) rose to the challenge as it announced that there was enough fuel in stock to take the country even beyond the yuletide.
Added to the NNPC’s reaction was its Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), which embarked on station-to-station inspection in ensuring that sabotage of supplies was frustrated.
In the latest statement, MURIC said, “Our exact words on that occasion were, ‘November is just three days away today and these agents of darkness must be somewhere now plotting to disrupt the smooth flow of supply and distribution. Their main objective is to discredit the government of the day particularly now that the 2019 election is just a stone’s throw away.
“It is therefore necessary for FG to watch out from now on. Another attempt may be made to cause artificial fuel scarcity. Those behind the move do not care about the common man. They do not care about hundreds of citizens who will be stranded on the roads as a result of fuel scarcity or the average Nigerian car owner who will be compelled to spend hours at fuel stations’.
“We therefore appeal to FG to avert another fuel scarcity particularly in the interest of ordinary Nigerians who may be caught in the crossfire as transport fares are most likely to skyrocket.”